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Changes in the pronoun system in the history of English Elly van Gelderen ICEHL 17, Zurich, 22 August 2012 [email protected] edu
Aims To examine the distribution of pronouns and demonstratives in Old English (but relevant in other languages too) and changes therein. To explain this in terms of the child interpreting input in a particular way through Feature Economy and thus to examine internal and external factors of linguistic change and their interaction
Why is change interesting? If these are real patterns of change, then they give insight in the Faculty of Language Factors: 1. Genetic endowment 2. Experience 3. Principles not specific to language
Language Change = Reanalysis by the language learner who apply Economy Principles. I argue that the real sources of change are internal principles. There may be external changes that `fit’ This is very different from models such as Lightfoot's and Westergaard’s that examine how much input a child needs to reset a parameter. According to Lightfoot, "children scan their linguistic environment for structural cues" (2006: 32); for these, change comes from the outside. And from Keenan’s (1996; 2002) Inertia.
If there are Economy Principles, they should be visible in Lg Change The main patterns (van Gelderen 2004; 2011): a) b) Or c) Phrase to Head Up the tree: both phrases and heads sem > interpretable > uninterpretable
Acquisition of pronouns etc. Where do lexical and functional categories come from? Universal grammar. If all variation is in the lexicon, is there third factor `help’ for the learner there? Yes, Feature Economy: if you have a LI with semantic features, use it as i-F, and use it with u-F.
Minimalist features The Semantic features of lexical items (which have to be cognitively based not UG) The interpretable ones relevant at the Conceptual. Intentional interface. Uninterpretable features act as `glue’ so to speak to help out merge. For instance, person and number features (=phi-features) are interpretable on nouns but not on verbs.
Formal features are: interpretable and uninterpretable airplane Interpr. [nominal] [3 S] [non-human] Uninterpr [Case] build [verbal] [assign accusative] [phi]
Loss of semantic features Full verbs such as Old English will with [volition, expectation, future] features are reanalyzed as having only the feature [future] in Middle English. And the negative OE no/ne > ME (ne) not > -n’t > Mod. E –n’t. . . nothing, never, etc
Typical changes: (1) demonstrative > third pronoun > clitic > agreement Variation is in the lexicon: English me French je [i-1 S] [u-phi] Change: demonstrative > pronoun > agreement [i-3 S] [u-phi] [i-deixis] ille il il+V
Features of the English DP DP DP that D’ [i-loc] D [i-3 S] D NP NP the 3 S 3 S [u-phi] Dem > article
OE Pronouns, demonstratives, and pro-drop (1) þæt fram ham gefrægn Higelaces þegn, god mid Geatum, Grendles dæda; se wæs moncynnes mægenes strengest on þæm dæge þysses lifes, æþele ond eacen. __ Het him yðlidan godne gegyrwan, cwæð, he guðcyning ofer swanrade secean wolde, mærne þeoden, þa him wæs manna þearf. ðone siðfæt him snotere ceorlas lythwon logon, þeah he him leof wære. `Hygelac’s thane heard about Grendel’s deeds while in Geatland; he (=Hygelac’s thane) was mankind’s strongest man on earth, noble and powerful. (He) ordered himself a good boat prepared and said that he wanted to seek the king over the sea since he (=the king) needed men. Wise men did not stop him (=Hygelac’s thane) though he was dear to them. ’ (Beowulf 194 -98)
Talking about the warriors present in the hall: (2)Wæs þeaw hyra þæt hie oft wæron an wig gearwe was custom their that they often were one war ready wæs seo þeod tilu. was that people good __ Sigon þa to slæpe sank then to sleep `It was their custom that they were always ready for war. They were good people. They went to sleep. ' (Beowulf 1246 -51
OE demonstrative: (3) hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon how those nobles courage did 'how the nobles performed heroic acts' (Beowulf 3) (4) se wæs Wine haten & se wæs in Gallia rice gehalgod. he was wine called and he was in Gaul consecrated
Few D, e. g. (5) Erest weron bugend þises landes Brittes. þa coman of Armenia. & gesætan suþewearde Bryttene ærost. þa gelamp hit þæt Pyhtas coman suþan of Scithian. mid langum scipum na manegum. `The first inhabitants were the Britons, who came from Armenia, and first peopled Britain southward. Then happened it, that the Picts came south from Scythia, with long ships, not many’.
Traugott (1992: 171): topic switch (6) Þa clypode an ðæra manna Zebeus gehaten and cwæð to ðam cyninge; `Then cried one of-the men Zebeus called and said to the king: Eala ðu cyning þas fulan wuhta þu scoldest awurpan of ðinum rice. Oh you king the foul creatures you should throw-out of your kingdom ðylæs ðe hi mid heora fylðe us ealle besmiton; in-case that they [= the foul creatures] with their filth us all affect Hi habbað mid him awyriedne engel. mancynnes feond. They [= the foul creatures] have with them corrupt angel, mankind’s enemy and se hæfð andweald on ðam mannum ðe heora scyppend forseoð. and he [the angel] has power over those men that their creator despise and to deofolgyldum bugað; and to idols bow. ’ (DOE Segment 8 Ælfric’s Catholic Homilies, second series M. Godden 1979, p. 283. 110 – 115)
(7) Þonne him gelomp þæt sume men gewuniað cweðan: Se ðe ne wile cirican duru wilsumlice geeadmoded ingongan, se sceal nede in helleduru unwillsumlice geniþerad gelæded beon. `Then it befell him, as some are wont to say, he that doesn’t want to enter the church door voluntarily and humbly, he shall necessarily against his will as damned be led into hell’s door. ’ (Bede 5, 442. 21)
(8) Ða æt nehstan se cyning, se ðe Seaxna gereorde an cuðe, wæs aðroten his elreordre spræce: aspon þa in Westseaxe oðerne biscop, se ðe his gereorde cuðe: se wæs Wine haten & se wæs in Gallia rice gehalgod. Ond he þa todælde in twa biscopscire Westseaxna mægðe, ond þæm Wine gesealde biscopseðl in Wintaceastre. `Then the king, who knew only Saxon, was tired of his (=the bishop’s) foreign speech (and) invited into Wessex another bishop who knew his (=the king’s) language. He (=the new bishop) was wine called and he was in Gaul consecrated. And he (=the king) then divided Wessex into two bishoprics and he gave the bishopric in Winchester to Wine. ’ (Bede, Miller edition, 186 -70)
Cf. Dutch and German: stylistic? (9) Hij had Stern gesproken en aan deze enige woorden en zaken uitgelegd, die hij niet begreep. Die Stern niet begreep, meen ik. `He had talked to Stern and explained to this one some words and matters which he did not understand. Which Stern did not understand, I mean'. (Multatuli, chap 4, van Gelderen 1998). (10) Paul sah eine Frau kommen. Sie/die trug einen schwarzen Mantel (Petrova & Solf 2011).
Work that it isn’t stylistic Abraham 2002, Bosch 2003, Bosch & Umbach 2007, etc for German; Petrova & Solf for OHG; Comrie 1997, van Gelderen 1998 for Dutch. Grammatical and pragmatic biases (Kehler et al 2012) -subject assignment strategy (Crawley et al 1990) -parallel grammatical role (Smyth 1994) -semantic role (Kehler et al 2008) and transitivity (Pyykkönen et al (2009) -pragmatic (Gundel et al 1993)
Summary so far about OE H-pronouns and D-pronouns. The latter are `stronger’. Limited pro-drop (van Gelderen 2000; Walkden 2012) Limited use of demonstrative pronouns (van Gelderen 2011 on three stages of Peterborough Chron)
Changes: (a) from few D to more and then to article (1) Đis geares wæs se mynstre of Cantwarabyri halgod fram þone ærcebiscop Willelm þes dæies iiii Nonæ MAI. Đær wæron þas biscopes. . . `This year was the monastery of Canterbury consecrated by the Archbishop William, on the fourth day before the nones of May. There were the Bishops. . . (PC 1131)
From Demonstrative to article: (2) gife to … þa munecas of þe mynstre give to … the monks of the abbey (Peterborough Chron 1150) (3) & gaddresst swa þe clene corn All fra þe chaff togeddre and gather-2 S so the clean wheat all from the chaff together `and so you gather the clear wheat from the chaff. ’ (Ormulum 1484 -5, Holt edition) (4) *the (Wood 2003: 69)
Other changes in C 12 in the same texts, e. g. `she’ (5) þæræfter toforan Candelmæssan on Windlesoran him to wife forgyfen Aðelis & syððan to cwene gehalgod. seo wæs þæs heretogan dohtor of Luuaine. thereafter before Candlemas at Windsor was given him to wife Adela and after hallowed queen. She was the duke of Louvain’s daughter. ’ (PC 1121) (6) He brohte his wif to Engleland. & dide hire in þe castel on Canteberi. God wimman scæ wæs. oc scæ hedde litel blisse mid him. `He brought his wife to England put her in a castle in Canterbury. She was a good woman but she had little bliss with him. (PC 1140) (7) 3 ho wass … Elysabæþ 3 ehatenn `She was called Elisabeth. ’ (Ormulum 115)
Third plural, demonstrative pronouns, and reflexives (8)& swa þe 33 leddenn heore lif Till þatt te 33 wærenn alde `and so they led their lives until they were old. ’ (Ormulum 125 -6) (9) For he and he had samen ben, forwit selcuth wrath. `Because they had together been debating. ’ (Cursor Mundi, Cotton 16161) (10) mon forgit his selfes. . . he sceal hine selfne geðencean man forgets his-GEN self-GEN. . . he must him-ACC self. ACC remember `man forgets himself. . . he must remember himself. ' (Alfred, Pastoral Care, 34. 7)
Around 1200: a reanalysis (11) & gaddresst swa þe clene corn `and so you gather the clear wheat. ’ (Ormulum 1484 -5, Holt edition) (12) 3 ho wass … Elysabæþ 3 ehatenn `She was called Elisabeth. ’ (Ormulum 115) (13) & swa þe 33 leddenn heore lif Till þatt te 33 wærenn alde `and so they led their lives until they were old. ’ (Ormulum 125 -6) (14) þin forrme win iss swiþe god, þin lattre win iss bettre. `Your earlier wine is very good, your later wine is better. ’ (Ormulum 15409)
Internal se --> the that --> that him/her --> himself/herself External seo --> she hi --> they a. se > the [i-loc]/[i-3 S] [u-phi] b. he/hi is replaced by he heo/ha is replaced by she (possibly via seo) hi/hie is replaced by they [i-3]/[i-loc]
Demonstrative [i-3 S] [i-loc] article [u-phi] pronoun [i-3 S] [u-T] C [u/i-T]
What else happens from OE > ME? Loss of pro-drop, which OE had: (1) Nu scylun hergan hefaenricaes uard Now must praise heavenly-kingdom guard `Now we must praise the lord of the heavenly kingdom. ' (Northumbrian Caedmon’s Hymn). This is not Germanic Topic-drop since Spec CP is filled.
Connected to V-movement as in OHG? (2) Sume hahet in cruci OHG some hang-2 P to cross `Some of them, you will crucify. ’ (Axel 2007: 293; Monsee Fragments) No: Pogatscher (1901) has 176 null subjects “im nebensatze”.
OE subordinates with pro drop (3) þæt ic gumcystum godne funde beaga bryttan breac þonne moste that I manly-virtue good found ring dispenser enjoyed as-long could `that I found a noble bestower of rings and enjoyed it as long as I could. ' (Beowulf 1486 -7) (4) swylcum gifeþe bið þæt þone hilderæs hal gedigeð such given be that the battle-storm unhurt endure `May it be that he will withstand unhurt the heat of the battle. ' (Beowulf 299 -300)
Structural and morphological conditions - Frascarelli & Hinterhölzel (2007); Sigurðsson (2011) - Licensing by the [i-phi] on the verb, as in Italian? - More interesting is the topic that licenses; aboutness-shift in Italian, according to Frascarelli (2007)
Topics in the left periphery Aboutness-Shift Topic (ST) > Contrastive Topic (CT) > Familiar Topic (FT) (from Frascarelli & Hinterhölzl 2007: 89) Aboutness-shift topic: a newly introduced or changed to topic; the contrastive topic: “induces alternatives which have no impact on the focus value”; and the familiar topic is typically nonstressed and pronominal.
Italian Aboutness (1) [il mio capo]i come diceva Carlo […] proi è un exreporter […] [my boss]i as Carlo used to say […] proi is a former reporter […] proi è stato in giro per il mondo […] proi mi ha preso in simpatia solo […] proi has been all over the world […] proi likes me
Topic-drop in OE: which kind? (2) Heah wæs þæt handlean and him hold frea high was that reward and him kind lord gesealde wæpna geweald wið wraðra gryre, gave weapens power against hostile terror __ ofercom mid þy campe cneomaga fela overcame with it in-fight warriors many (Talking about Moses), `Great was the reward and God was gracious to him (=Moses) and gave him weapons against hostile terror. He overcame many warriors with it in battle. ' (Exodus 19 -21)
Familiar Topic? (3) Talking about the warriors: Wæs þeaw hyra þæt hie oft wæron an wig gearwe, was custom their that they often were a war ready wæs seo þeod tilu. __ Sigon þa to slæpe was that people good sank then to sleep `It was their custom always to be ready for war. They were good people. They went to sleep. ' (Beowulf 1246 -51)
Talking about Hrothgar: (4) Him on mod bearn þæt __ healreced hatan wolde medoærn micel men gewyrcean `Him to mind came that palace command would meadhall large men to-build `He thought that he would order his men to build a big hall, a big meadhall. ' (Beowulf 64 -69)
Many topics in OE (5) [Eft] [on þære ylcan nihte] [æfter þæs cempan martyrdome] ferde decius to þam hatum baþum wið ðam botle salustii Again on the same night after the soldier’s martyrdom went Decius to the hot baths opposite the house Salust `Again, on the same night, after the soldier’s martyrdom, Decius went to the hot baths, opposite the house of Sallust. ’ (Ælfric, Homilies, i. 42 from Koopman 1997)
Sigurðsson (2011): Null Subject is Edge-linked Null Subjects: - Pro Drop (Italian) - Topic Drop (Germanic): Topic moves to Spec CP; Icelandic suggests low topic - Discourse Drop (East Asian)
Pro-drop in Italian is incorporated pronoun; is that so in OE? Agreement (SV order; weak verbs): Present S 1 -e 2 -(e)s(t) 3 -(e)ð P -að Preterite S 1 -de 2 -des(t) 3 -de P -dun, -don, dan
Inflection on strong verbs in e. g. Mercian Glosses Þu V V Þu V 5 –es, 1 –est, 1 –ast, -2 st 2 –es, 1 –s, 2 –(e)st 3 –est (Berndt 1956: 98) (1) Þu bindes (Matthew 16. 9) (2) spreces Þu (Matthew 13. 10) (3) cymest (Matthew 3. 14) (Berndt 1956: 98)
No difference for third person: Rushworth’s Mercian part SV: 16 –eþ, 1 –eth, 2 –aþ VS: 1 –aþ V: 10 –eþ, 3 –aþ, 1 –æþ, 1 –iþ (Berndt 103) (1) (2) (3) he findeþ (Matthew 7. 8) sti 3 aþ he (Matthew 24. 17) onwreoþ (Matthew 16. 17) (Berndt 104)
Person split in OE: Null vs Overt Subject Pronouns Rushworth’s Matthew 1 S 6/191 (=97%) 1 P 1/44 (=98%) 2 S 12/90 (=88%) 2 P 20/168 (=89%) 3 S 223/246 (=54%) 3 P 130/141 (=52%)
Lindisfarne (Northumbrian) 1 S 1 P 2 S 2 P 3 S 3 P 9/212 (=96%) 0/53 (=100%) 16/103 (=87%) 10/206 (=95%) 445/116 (=21%) 263/108 (=29%) 9/656 (=99%) 1/120 (=99%) 22/308 (=93%) 21/428 (=95%) 1292/225 (=15%) 618/154 (=20%)
Pro-drop/agreement licensing in OE - Not V-movement as in OHG - There is a relation to agreement: less prodrop in first and second person and less agreement here (cf. history of Russian, Meyer 2011) - T has interpretable phi-features in OE - Hence, pro-drop etc - These are first lost with first and second ps
Conclusions The pronoun system in English undergoes a major shift around 1200: Pro-drop is lost (probably due to agreementloss) Demonstrative > Article Personal pronouns are strengthened externally The former/latter are introduced
Conclusions ctd Internal change: Semantic > Interpretable > Uninterpretable External change: Renewal of the semantic features
Some References Berndt, Rolf 1956. Form unde Funktion des verbums im nordlichen Spataltenglischen. Halle: Niemeyer. Chomsky, Noam 2007. Approaching UG from below, in Uli Sauerland et al. (eds), Interfaces + Recursion = Language, 1 -29. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Comrie, Bernard 1997. Pragmatic binding: demonstratives as anaphors in Dutch. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistic Society 23: 49 -61. Frascarelli, Mara 2007 Subjects, topics and the interpretation of referential pro. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 25. 4, 691 -734. Frascarelli, Mara & Roland Hinterhölzl. 2007. ‘Types of Topics in German and Italian’, in Kerstin Schwabe & Susanne Winkler (eds. ), On Information Structure, Meaning and Form, 87 -116. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Gelderen, Elly van 2011. The Linguistic Cycle. Oxford University Press.
Meyer, Roland 2011. The History of Null Subjects in North Slavonic. Ms. Petrova, Svetlana & Michael Solf 2010. Pronominale Wiederaufname im ältesten Deutsch. ms Sigurðsson, Halldór 2011. Conditions on Argument Drop. Linguistic Inquiry 42. 2: 267 -304. Traugott, Elizabeth 1992. Syntax. In Richard Hogg (ed. ), The Cambridge History of the English Language I; Old English, 168 -289. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Walkden, George 2012. Syntactic Reconstruction and Proto Germanic. Doctoral dissertation, University of Cambridge. Wood, Johanna 2003. Definiteness and Number: Determiner Phrase and Number Phrase in the History of English. ASU Ph. D.